Animal Woodcuts and Printable Book Plates

The other day I received an old German speller that I’d purchased on ebay that was published in 1832. The front cover of the book was quite unattractive, but the back had this beautiful rooster artwork. I scanned it, cleaned it up in Photoshop, removing the lettering, and flopped the image to appear as a book front, leaving a nice area at the bottom to add your own text for digital collage work or any other craft idea.The inside cover’s layout was full of beautiful woodcut animal illustrations.With some of the animals, I designed free printable book plates. Click on the image just below to access the FREE PDF file and print to full sheet label stock (to create adhesive labels) or to plain paper to use with other adhesives, such as paper glue, spray adhesive, etc. Add a name to the white box areas digitally on each before printing or leave blank for hand personalizing. Print several copies of the set and cut out individual bookplates along the faint cut-lines.

For gift-giving, use the trimmed away band at the bottom of one of the sheets to wrap around the stack of cut bookplates. Place a blank card on top of the stack for writing a message on, and another blank on the bottom facing out to hide the label backing paper.  Cut out one of the animal squares at the bottom of the sheet to seal off the wrapped band in the back.These are a quick and easy gift to keep on hand or print & trim on-demand for sharing with your dinner hosts, teachers and other friends during the upcoming holiday seasons. Make extra for your own library or remove the Ex Libris text and you have a set of blank labels for other things!If you’re giving these as a gift, you can use wrapping as fun, unique and creative as the present. Here are some awesome options for custom gift packaging.
Here’s another image with several of the other animals included for your craft and design projects!As always, all are welcome to use free images from my blog for personal or commercial crafts. I only ask that you not resell the images themselves.

This entry was posted in Free digital collage sheets, Free digital downloads, Free Jpgs, Free PDF files, free vintage art, Uncategorized, Vintage Ephemera. Bookmark the permalink.
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88 Responses to Animal Woodcuts and Printable Book Plates

  1. #1 - Desirai says:

    Wow! These look great! I love it! You’ve inspired me to start collecting old books. The artwork can be used for so many cool things!

  2. #2 - Alyce Kennedy says:

    You are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  3. #3 - Annie says:

    Great images!!

  4. #4 - Steff says:

    It says something like “high German lutherian ABC and name- booklet for children who are starting to learn” on the inside; the back sort of translates to “Cockadoodledoo! the cock shouts loudly to wake up children nice and early to start school, because early hours are golden”
    Sorry, it does make sense in German, honestly!
    Geez, I love old books!

  5. #6 - Heather says:

    I always enjoy your downloads and projects but I LOVE LOVE these. With some real bibliophiles in the family I know I will be making some sets of these as gifts!!
    Thank you.

  6. #7 - Rebecca Jean says:

    These are wonderful! I think they would be great for children’s games as well. Perhaps memory cards. Thanks for the inspiration and the graphics!

    ♥ Rebecca Jean
    Midnight Maniac

  7. #8 - marysworkshop says:

    Those are really great designs, and how sweet of you to share them with us!

  8. #9 - DangerPup says:

    Thank you! These are great. I’ve been knocking around some different ideas/methods for bookplates. I’ll start with these.

  9. #10 - Jennifer says:

    This collection is really beautiful… I can’t wait to put the images to use. Thank you for doing all the hard work for us!

  10. #11 - Annalea says:

    Cathe, thank you so much. These are beautiful!

  11. #12 - Andrea Fletcher says:

    Thank you for allowing us to reap the benefits of your creative mind.

  12. #13 - Julie Richardson says:

    These are so beautiful, I love them!!!

  13. fabulous!! They look stunning!!! Thanks!!

  14. I am looking for gift I can make for Christmas and these are perfect! Thank you once again.

  15. #16 - iHanna says:

    You are amazing Cath! You just come up with great fun projects all the time! Thank you for sharing these!

  16. #17 - Estazia says:

    These are fabulous. Thank you for sharing them with us. These will be great for two boys I know who are just getting into reading books on their own. It will hopefully instill a little pride in them to label their books as their own.

  17. #18 - RandomCreativity says:

    Thanks for sharing – these are lovely and will make great gifts. My sister loves to put her full name in everything – she especially will love them 🙂

  18. #19 - Jennifer (mom of 4) says:

    Love it Cathe!!!

    I had to make some first thing this morning. I am sending a box to my Aunt Polly who loves to read. In fact she worked at the Darmouth College bookstore for years and has tons of books. I snapped some pictures of how I packaged them and wrote about it on my blog. Here is the link

    Thanks again for all your wonderful ideas!!


  19. #20 - Alyssa says:

    Yay! I love bookplates, so thank you so much! The fact that these are woodcuts makes me even more happy.

  20. #21 - Jillian says:

    These are wonderfully awesome! Love the creativity!

  21. #22 - Linda from Vegas says:

    I love these old prints. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Did I miss a second post with the waterslide decals? I put the bread, flour, sugar, tea decals on various things after changing the labels to black. They turned out so nice.

  22. #24 - Janette says:

    I love them. I love old books and have a growing collection. I might just have to claim my ownership of them alongside the original inscriptiions. You have also inspired me for Christmas presents. Thank you

  23. #25 - Cami@Cami's Paperie says:

    Thank you! This is one of my very favorite websites. I LOVE IT!

  24. #26 - Sheila Holland says:

    Thanks so much for posting the book labels. They will make wonderful small gifts. What a talented and generous person you are. Your blog always brings a smile to my face.

  25. #27 - Nancy Overton says:

    Linked from my son’s Dudecraft to your great book plates. I think they’ll make great images for the wings of one of my birds. I use old handwritten recipes and pages from falling apart books. Check them out at

    I’ll send you a picture of the result.


    • #28 - Cathe Holden says:

      DudeCraft’s mom reads my blog!! Woo hoo! Don’t even get me started on how cool you son Paul is…

      Your artwork is over the top FABULOUS!! Thank you so much for sharing Nancy. I hope you’ll come back often.

  26. #29 - Elizabeth says:

    Thank you, thank you! I had been making little calendars for my peeps for birthdays and Christmas, but just couldn’t face doing that again this year (a tough semester of teaching will do that to you). Thanks to you, I have just the gift now. I really appreciate your sharing with all of us blog readers.

    I’m a fan!

  27. #30 - Lisa says:

    I LOVE this lady! This is perfect timing as I have some old books I wanted to put plates in. Thank you so much for sharing and for being so creative and making us all think so much!

  28. #31 - Mary says:

    What great images. I already have plans to make several sets of bookplates for Christmas gifts! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m headed to your store to see if I can find the rooster, I love it.

  29. #32 - Pamela Gerard says:

    What a lovely thing to share – thanks very much.

  30. #33 - Centsational Girl says:

    These are absolutely wonderful! I love everything you do, but these will become Christmas gifts for friends, thank you!!

  31. #34 - Suz Reaney says:

    Those are so charming. Thank you so much, Cathe. They will be great during the holidays!


  32. #35 - Laura says:

    Wow thanks! You just solved my teacher gift problem. But uhm, I’ll need some too.

  33. #36 - Donna M. says:

    Thank you so much!!! I love these! I am a big fan of bookplates and this set is charming!

  34. #37 - Selena Cate says:

    This has to be one of your coolest project ever. As a reader and lover of paper I think book plates are the best. I still have some of my grandparent’s books with original bookplates in them. I love seeing their name written in old ink. This is going to make a perfect Christmas present to everyone I know.

  35. #38 - DogpackMOMMA says:

    Way cool! Thank you so much.

  36. #39 - Sandy McClay says:

    Thank you for these! A perfect Christmas gift for a very dear friend! Sandy

  37. #40 - Tina Pfeiffer says:

    Fantastic, thanks! I think these will become a gift for my niece who’s away at her first year in college. 🙂

  38. #41 - Betzie says:

    Wow, how generous of you to share!!! I love these and will make some up for gifts this year. Thanks so very much!!!

  39. #42 - Carapace says:

    Wow. WOW! What fantastic images, and how wonderful that you’re sharing them!

    Would it be all right to use these in a multimedia work or collage? I can think of a couple projects they’d be perfect for!

  40. #43 - Lisa says:

    I love these animal bookplates. Maybe I will try to make some Christmas ornaments with them. Thanks!

  41. #44 - Nancy says:

    I love, love, love these–both the bookplates and just the animals themselves. I’m already spinning off ideas for their use. Thank you for these and for all the wonderful graphics and ideas you share so generously!

  42. Pingback: All Occasion Label Designs and Free Label Stock! | Just Something I Made

  43. #45 - Kim Jackson says:

    Thank you so much Cathe, I work at an elementary school and like to give the staff a little something at the holidays, this will be perfect! Thank you so much!
    Kim Jackson

  44. #46 - Juliet A says:

    Thank you! These will be fun to use for inchies!

  45. #47 - Kirsten says:

    I’ve recently taken a passion to printing and love the old wood block engravings. I can’t believe how amazing these look from the book – that’s such a good idea. I’m always trying to find the old books with engravings so i’m keeping my eye on ebay now! Thanks for the download.

  46. #48 - Doxie says:

    Dear Cathe,
    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful project. I just LOVE what you’ve done with the images and can’t wait to have a go for myself.

    Doxie :o)

  47. #49 - Laura Murray says:

    These so wonderful!!! Love them- you are very creative.

    Wondering if the “bookplates” text is a font and if it is, what font is it? Or, did you write it out in pen?


  48. #50 - Betti says:

    I always love your ideas! you are a true inspiration. Thanks for the animal wooduts

  49. #51 - paula says:

    im so happy i found your blog. this book is so nice and unique! i send all my happiness for you and your family for this Christmas and thank you for sharing these pictures.

  50. #52 - Lisa K says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful bookplates. I love to add a bookplate to any book I give and I always have difficulty finding ones that aren’t “cute”. These are wonderful for adding to my collection. Thanks again.

  51. #53 - Karen says:

    This is awesome! I’ve been wanting to make gifts (inexpensively) for my Bible Study group. I was planning on hand embroidering some bookmarks, but have run out of time. I may try to get these done for them. Thank you, thank you!

  52. #54 - Heather B says:

    Hi Cathe , Just found your book plates and wanted to print some out for a gift ( they are wonderful! ) but the link doesnt work . Thought I would let you know ….disappointing that I wont be able to use these but never the less I appreciate that you offered.


  53. #56 - Amber Wolf says:

    It’s not working for me either. I’m clicking on the image and then I get a message “file does not begin with PDF”…or something like that.

    These are a PERFECT gift for my brother!! I will keep trying the link, could you email them to me though, in case I can’t get it to work?

    Thank you so much, you do such beautiful and imaginative work.

  54. #59 - Amber Wolf says:

    The link doesn’t work for me either… 🙁
    This is the message that I receive: File does not begin with ‘%PDF’.

    So weird.
    Thanks for helping.

  55. #60 - Marg Conner says:

    I found your site thru a customers whom you made a logo for. I dont have a site presently but when I do YOU would be my go to artist. Awesome! website. Just wanted you to know you were appreciated. Thanks!

  56. #61 - Lee Ann says:

    These are wonderful! Thank you for having them in PDF format! My granddaughter will be so excited to get these!

  57. #62 - Eunice Robertson says:

    These images are just gorgeous! I love vintage images. There is just something really special about them. Maybe because I’m in my sixties – think it’s nostalgia, maybe? :0)

  58. #63 - Ellen Crawley says:

    Thank you!

  59. #64 - Pat Green says:

    Hi Cathe, Just love these bookplates and am printing some out as presents. I have a problem that I don’t appear to be able to add a name digitally to the PDF as you suggest, am I doing something wrong?

  60. #65 - Susan Bizzell says:

    Thanks for these beautiful bookplates. I can’t wait to use them. Thank you for being so very generous to provide these.

  61. #66 - Karen says:

    Thank you for shaaring such wonderful images!

  62. #67 - Johanna says:

    These are wonderful!! Thank you so much!!

  63. #68 - Lisa says:

    You are very creative. Love your ideas.

  64. #69 - Irfan Cheema says:

    Thank you… your site is a treasure trove.

  65. #70 - Joi says:

    Just wondering how to use these if you don’t have photoshop to add text to the labels. I would also like to print the blank label twice without having to print the entire sheet twice. If you have any suggestions please let me know!
    I absolutely love this blog…you are amazing with all the creative ideas!
    Thank you!

  66. #71 - Juana Atkins says:

    Thank you for the bookplates.

    kind regards

    Juana Atkins ( New Zealand )

  67. Pingback: Cool All About Birds images | Birds

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  69. #72 - Kristina Joy says:

    Thank you! These are super! I made necklaces out of these woodcuts and have them for sale at the above link. 🙂

  70. #73 - Sheri says:

    This is exactly what I have been searching for! Perfect for my upcoming “book” themed party. How do you digitally add text to the labels?

  71. #74 - MalloryB says:

    love these!! thankyou!

  72. #75 - Isabela says:

    Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Success and happiness for you!

  73. Pingback: IMG_0803 | Be funny with birds

  74. #76 - Danielle says:

    Your book plates are fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing them.

  75. #77 - fe says:

    I love the vintage look of your bookplates. I have been searching for something that is classic yet my children can appreciate too.

  76. #78 - Tatjana says:

    What a wonderful website… With all these amazing files it’s so easy to make nice presents….
    Thanks a lot !!!!

  77. #79 - Diane says:

    Absolutely beautiful! Hmmm. How do you digitally add the name to the bookplate? Do I have to subscribe to Adobe in order to edit the pdf?

  78. #80 - Ana says:

    Thank you so much for these – I adore them 🙂 !

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  80. #81 - Dawn Larsen says:

    Hi Cathe,
    Thanks so much for the animal woodcuts. I am a Chemo Card Angel and have the hardest time making interesting cards for men. I printed these small, about 1 1/2″ and cut them out. I will put three on a card and back them with nice textured heavy paper.
    I also appreciate that these were free. Right now I send about 7-10 cards per week and I’m on a fixed income.
    So thank you!!! Dawn

  81. #82 - Trish Garrett says:

    Love these! Thanks so much for sharing!

  82. #83 - Leila says:

    What a great resource! Thank you!